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CMOS Detecting Wrong Hard Drive Size After Power Outage

Posted on 2008-06-23
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Last Modified: 2008-06-25
I have two systems with the exact same hardware and both running Windows XP SP2.  They both had a WD 400 hard dirves.  We had a power outage and when they came back on, both of these systems would not boot.  I then noticed that CMOS was showing them as something like 8.4GB.  It was showing the correct drive model, but the wrong size.  I put them in another system and the same thing occurred.  What could cause this?  If the partition table got wiped out, would CMOS report the wrong size.  Is the drive size stored on the drive and possibly that information got wiped out?  Is there anyway to correct the problem?  I was hoping to recover data off the drives if at all possible.   However, with CMOS reporting the wrong disk geometry, I can't even use a RAW recovery.  Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.  
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Question by:dangray
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:compfixer101
ID: 21849697
hmm try an auto detect of the harddrive,
also does the PC's even boot?
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 21849732
Boot from a floppy or bootable CD into Lifeguard Tools http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?modelno=wd400bb&x=10&y=8

See what the low level diagnostics tell you.
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Author Comment

by:dangray
ID: 21850375
compfixer101 - no, the other ones did not boot because of the hard drive situation.  moved drive to another system (same hardware), and put drive in as secondary drive, and system does boot, but can't access other drive through lifeguard (already tried), through diskmgmt.msc, partition magic, etc.  Also tried HAD2 (www.had2.com) - it sees it but cannot determine size.

Masqueraid - already tried that - does not work.  
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Accepted Solution

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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 2000 total points
ID: 21864805
If Lifeguard can't see the drive size (and would probably only be able to fix anyway with a low level format) and you have plugged them into machines unaffected by the outage to rule out a CMOS error, then I suspect your only way of recovering the data is going to be a commercial recovery option fixing the drive to a new PCB.
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Author Comment

by:dangray
ID: 21864949
Yeah further research revealed that the drive capacity info, etc. was corrupted.  So, ended up setting up anew and recreating lost data.  It was wierd that it happened to two in the exact same way.  I wonder if WD drives are more suseptable to this problem.  Thanks.
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